Woman Running ‘Illegal Babysitting Service’ Paid Family $2,000 After She Allegedly Killed Their 4-Month-Old Baby

[Screenshot/YouTube/CBS Chicago]

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A woman who was running an illegal babysitting service in Chicago has been arrested following a 4-month-old’s death in her care.

Norma Chagnama, 29, was arrested Feb. 18 on suspicion of murder for the death of 4-month-old Zury Cruz Sumba, a child she had been watching over in her unauthorized apartment daycare since late 2022, Fox 32 Chicago reported.

Court documents reveal that while the infant girl was in Chagnama’s care Feb. 16, she vomited on a bed. This prompted Chagnama to forcefully pick up Sumba and swing her over her shoulder, failing to support her head, to pat her on the back, the outlet reported. Afterwards, Chagnama reportedly noticed the baby was having trouble breathing and called the child’s mother who rushed to the apartment and began to administer CPR, according to WGNTV.

Sumba was rushed to a hospital in critical condition where a CT scan revealed the infant had suffered spinal cord injuries and a subdural hematoma, the outlet reported. The child was taken off life-support on Feb. 17 and succumbed to her injuries, WGNTV reported. A later autopsy listed Sumba’s death as a homicide, noting the “significant” injury to her spinal cord, a swollen brain and hemorrhaging around both optic nerves, Fox 32 reported.

When Sumba’s father called Chagnama to inform her that the infant had died, the babysitter allegedly paid a visit to the child’s parents to apologize and offer them $2,000 to cover funeral expenses. Chagnama also reportedly told them to “trust the word of God,” according to WGNTV. (RELATED: Babysitter Charged For Killing 1-Year-Old Son Of US Soldier Reportedly Told Police He Used ‘Wrestling-Style Moves)

Chagnama was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, though her lawyer maintains her innocence, suggesting instead that the infant’s injuries were caused by Sumba’s mother when she was administering CPR, WGNTV reported.

“So obviously Norma’s devastated. We don’t agree with the allegations. We’re maintaining her innocence. We don’t believe that the timeline that the state’s attorney set out lined up with what exactly happened on that day. Norma’s never been in trouble with the law before. She’s always cared for this child as well as other children,” Chagnama’s attorney Niklas Lofgren said, according to Fox 32.

The Department of Children and Family Services revealed that the agency had prior contact with Sumba’s family and is conducting an investigation, ABC  7 Chicago reported.

Changnama was denied bail and she is due to appear in court Feb. 27, WGNTV reported.